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Backward Walk In Footsteps Going Forward – The Healing Power of Poetry

Muscogee Nation poet, Joy Harjo, talks in the introduction to her new and selected poems 1975 - 2001, How We Became Human, of how poetry "showed up" and helped her turn away from self-destruction and despair.

"Poetry approached me in that chaos of raw inverted power and leaned over and tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "You need to learn how to listen, you need grace, you need to learn how to speak. You're coming with me." I did not walk off into the sunset with poetry, or hit the town with a blaze of gunfire with poetry guarding my back. Rather, the journey toward poetry worked exactly the same as the process of writing a poem. It started from the inside out, then turned back in to complete a movement."Adrienne Rich has written about the frightening 'tunnel of silence' women poets find themselves in when there have been no women writing before them. In Canada, Cree poet, …

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